Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ROLLER BOOGIE (1979)

ROLLER BOOGIE (1979) 


Label: Olive Films
Region Code: A
Rating: PG
Duration: 104 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Cast: Linda Blair, James Van Patten, Mark Goddard, Beverly Garland


While I could never roller skate to save my life and I loathed disco music I must say that this is a fun slice of throwaway Seventies entertainment, a corny time capsule from a time when satin shirts, huge headphones, knee-high socks and the bubbly beat of disco ruled the landscape. 

Roller Boogie stars Linda Blair (The Exorcist) as bratty Terry Barkley, a flute-blowing musical prodigy in sunny California surrounded by snobbish friends who just don't understand her. One fine day down at the Venice Beach Boardwalk she meets a young roller skater named Bobby James (Tim Bray),  but she won't give the poor guy the time of day despite his best efforts. That all changes when Bobby later saves Terry from a skating accident at the local roller rink, a happening place for rollers called Jammers. 

Now intrigued by the young man Terry offers to pay Bobby to teach her how to roller skate, which the horny young man is only too happy to so. Bobby hopes to mold the foxy young lady into his partner in time for the upcoming roller disco contest at Jammers. Unfortunately the mafia is coercing the owner of roller rink to sell, now the contest - and Bobby's Olympic skating dreams - might just go up in smoke if the disco-loving teens cannot find a way to save the day. 

This slice of roller boogie confection has all the goofy charm of an episode of Scooby-Doo with mobbed-up bad guys and corny seventies fashions set to the non-stop sounds of that sweet disco music, not to mention plenty of fun choreographed roller-routines which are executed pretty well, it made me sort of jealous.

The acting is pretty awful across the board, even from the very capable Linda Blair, who at this point in her career was probably loaded with a nasal cavity full of rock candy. As someone who vehemently does loathes disco music I must say that I did sort of enjoy watching this, disco music reminds me of my mom, who I am quite sure loved this movie. It's a fun slice of disco corniness loaded with copious amounts of standard teen-love conventions such as lovers from the opposite side of the tracks, parents who just don't understand, friends who are snobbish, and some truly golden-brick dialogue from Blair who at one point screams at her Valium popping mother, "So what, I'm a musical genius! Whatta drag! Whatta bummer!". Not a good movie, but an pretty enjoyable bad movie if you are into such things.

The movie arrives on Blu-ray from distributor Olive Films with a solid HD transfer framed in the original widescreen aspect ratio with some very nice sharpness and clarity to it. Color reproduction is solid through and through, the garish 70s fashions pop off the screen and the skin tones look good, a very nice transfer. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono sound mix is just good enough, clean and well balanced, but the mono mix is flat and the disco soundtrack is not all that it could have been.There are no subtitle options, and no extras to speak of, a pretty standard bare bones release from Olive Films. 2/5

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